Korean Olympic champ Park Tae-hwan announced that he will continue his competitive swimming career beyond the Rio Olympics in an Instagram post this week.
It was a disappointing 2016 Olympic cycle for Park, and marked by uncertainty. Park tested positive for testosterone in late 2014 and was hit with an 18-month suspension that would have him cleared just in time for the Olympics.
But a Korean Olympic Committee rule placed stricter punishments on any athlete serving a doping suspension, banning that athlete from national team competition for three years beyond the end of his or her suspension.
The rule was a controversial one; a similar rule put in place by the IOC was struck down by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. With public support behind him (Park is South Korea’s only Olympic swimming medalist ever, and resultingly is a mega-celebrity within the country), Park literally fell to his knees begging his Olympic committee to let him compete, and eventually was granted his eligibility.
The 2016 Olympics were disappointing for Park, though, with the 2008 Olympic champ failing to advance out of heats in the 100, 200 and 400 frees and scratching out of the 1500.
But Park’s Instagram says he will continue competing – he could add to his three long course world championship medals at the 2017 edition of that event, and in 2018 could improve his 14 total Asian Games medals.